17-19 May 2013: Youlbury Prize Camp

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We had a wonderful weekend up at Youlbury, our prize for winning the Our Sporting Adventure competition. And despite forecasts for rain all weekend we had an increasingly warm and sunny stay.

The Cubs arrived on Friday evening and were sent off with a map and a photo sheet to start finding their way around the site (without any leaders!) All but two made it back on time, and the missing pair were found after a short search. After a supper of hot dogs they were in bed by 10pm and were all asleep by 11.30pm (pretty good for the first night of camp!)

They were up bright and early (5am ish) on Saturday morning, with quite a wait until breakfast at 8am. By the time our bacon and eggs were ready our mouths were watering and our tummies were rumbling. The activities started at 9am, led by Andy and the rest of our activity team: first we had to learn how to pitch a tent, and then we learnt how to use axes, saws and knives. We managed to keep all of our arms and legs attached. 

Lunch consisted of sandwiches and cake, and then the Cubs split into two groups: half the pack went into the woods to start fires (using steel & flint) while the other half started preparing vegetables for lunch. We had assumed that vegetable preparation would be one of the safer tasks, but after two Cubs managed to peel a bit off their thumb we realised that this is actually the most dangerous activity of all. It was then time to collect wood for our cooking fires, a job which the Cubs undertook with enthusiasm, bringing back gradually larger pieces of wood.

With fires lit it was time to divide into three teams and make a start on our booked activities: shelter building, crate stacking and archery. Crate stacking proved to be one of the most popular activities of the weekend (it's a lot more fun that it sounds), while shelter building was worryingly reminiscent of Lord of the Flies (the premise was that they had been stranded after an aeroplane crash and had to figure out how to construct a shelter, between 12 of them).

Following activities it was time for dinner (stew, cooked over the fire, which wasn't a huge success with most of the Cubs) and then we had a fantastic camp fire, which included Chil getting a good soaking. The Cubs were completely worn out and just had time to gobble up another hot dog before they went off to bed; we had silence by shortly after 10pm, and even the leaders managed to get to bed at 11pm!

Sunday morning was a slightly slower start (some Cubs actually needed to be extracted from their sleeping bags), with more delicious bacon for breakfast. We then did whatever activities we'd not done the day before, followed by a tasty roast chicken lunch. After lunch we had a debrief - including finding out what everyone liked the most and the least - and all of the Cubs received their Outdoor Challenge. We were fairly successful at getting rid of all the kit, finding ourselves left with only a wash kit, a pair of walking boots, a small torch and a sock!

The best bit for the leaders was going home at the same time as the Cubs and letting someone else do all of the clearing up.